What does the future look like?

Related article:  This year’s reductions

The board and administration have been looking at a variety of scenarios to meet our financial needs following November’s levy failure.  There are many configurations, each with a different cost to various groups of people.

We voted to put the November 4.5 mill levy on the ballot because we are losing $4.1 million from the state.  The levy would have generated about $3.9 million a year, not quite replacing what we were losing.  We then intended to continue to identify reductions and efficiencies (because any organization always has continuing opportunities for increasing efficiencies), making up that shortfall and hopefully stretching the time before another levy past 4 years.

With the levy failure, we have a number of options:

  1. No reductions, 6.3 mill levy:  If we had passed the levy in November, we would have received a half-year’s worth of income next year.  With the levy failing, we would not receive any income until 2014 at the earliest.  This becomes a cash flow issue and requires a higher levy to keep the same programs and services with no cuts.In addition, because of contract and configuration issues, we would need to pass this 6.3 mill levy in May, 2013.  If we did not pass it then, we would have to cut $4.3 million annually starting in school year 2013-14.  To reach $4.3 million in reductions, we would significantly hurt the quality of the education we offer.
  2. Reduce $2.5 million in sustained cuts, keep 4.5 mill levy, levy lasts four years:  In order to keep the millage level at 4.5 mills, we would have to reduce from our budget.  The board and administration agree we must reduce $750,000 this year, starting in January (see This year’s reductions for more information).We can then make sustained reductions beginning in the 2013-14 school year of $2.5 million, which will allow us to keep the 4.5 mill levy level and, if it passes in May, 2013, it would last at least 4 years.

    Once again in this scenario, if the levy did not pass in May, 2013, we would have to make $1.8 million additional in sustained reductions to bring total reductions to $4.3 million.

  3. Reduce $1.4 million in sustained cuts, keep 4.5 mill levy, levy lasts three years:  Since $2.5 million is quite a bit to cut out of our budget, we can choose to reduce less and expect the levy to last only three instead of four years.  The rest of the scenario is the same:  if the levy did not pass in May, we would need to make an additional $2.9 million in reductions for the following school year.  This scenario is appealing because, while the $1.4 million in reductions will hurt, they will not be nearly as devastating as $2.5 million.

These are types of scenarios the administration and board are considering:  what is the best combination for our community and our district, now and for the future.   The board will need to decide if we are running a levy in May, and for what amount, by the end of January.

We will be holding a work session following our Organizational Meeting on January 8 to discuss this.  The meeting starts at 6 pm at the Board offices; the work session will start immediately afterward (by 6:30 pm).  We will then have a special board meeting tentatively scheduled for January 10 at 7 pm to pass the first resolution, if we decide to put a levy on.  The second, final resolution will be voted on at the regular board meeting tentatively scheduled for January 24.  (Note: the January dates are tentative because they cannot be approved officially until the January 8 Organizational Meeting).

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2 Responses to “What does the future look like?”

  1. greg keer Says:

    Please understand i recognize the amount of your time effort and work you undertake in commicating through blog.

  2. andreabrady Says:

    Thanks so much, Greg. It is a lot of work, but I know people appreciate being able to have access to the information. And I really appreciate feedback like this 🙂

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